Thinking Outside the Coffin

July 11, 2012

Good things happen when you give in to creative ideas and do something other than the norm—this is especially true for anyone who’s charged with raising an organization’s or company’s profile.

Take BlackBat Trueline Stakes. BlackBat makes wooden stakes for construction sites. You’ve seen them; you’ve probably tripped over them. What they’ve done with their little ol’ construction product made in Fort Smith, Ark., is nothing short of brilliant.

Granted, it may or may not sell 50 additional boxes of stakes, but here we are, talking about them. That’s half the battle in marketing or getting someone to notice your firm.

The idea? BlackBat had its stakes placed in HBO’s original series “True Blood,” a series about vampires.

Wooden stakes. The weapon of choice against the bloodthirsty undead.

BlackBat vanquishes vampires right in your home, on your big-screen TV, in HBO’s highest-rated series since “The Sopranos.” Perfect.

While most of my vampire memories are rather dusty (Christopher Lee in Hammer Films, Keanu Reeves’ laughable attempt at a British accent in “Bram Stoker’s Dracula”), vampires are hot these days, particularly with the younger generation.

Maybe BlackBat will reach some young construction workers—tomorrow’s superintendents. It’s a little like Caterpillar and John Deere licensing children’s clothing, but more darkly hip.

BlackBat has hitched its wagon to a winner, in part because the spirit of Nosferatu is everywhere. Along with “True Blood,” there’s Tim Burton’s “Dark Shadows” film, and the “Twilight” series. We’re probably not far away from a vampire-themed reality show like “Real Housewives of Transylvania.” Or, maybe Nic Cage’s career will rise from the dead. Somebody pass the garlic.

Point is, BlackBat has forever associated itself with a great network’s memorable show, and for my money, pulled off one of the coolest construction industry appearances in mainstream entertainment this side of “Killdozer.”

So don’t stifle creative thinking…and always remember that you have to invite an idea in before it can overtake you.

About the Author

Frank Raczon

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.